10 DVD Burners: 16x and Dual-Layer - or Nothing!


As you've seen on the preceding pages, the performance ratings of the burners were very close. While certain burners did stand out, there were no really bad burners, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

If space is the major criterion for you, the difference between 4x and 2.4x write speed for dual layer is significant: more than 43 minutes versus 27 minutes! So, if you intend to burn dual-layer, the NEC ND-3500A is clearly the best choice, at only 27 minutes and 40 seconds to fill a DVD+R DL. We should remind storage buffs that DL media still cost approximately five times the price of single-layer media, so be sure you consider that!

The NEC took 6 minutes and 7 seconds for DVD+R and 6:35 for DVD-R (at 12x), which means that it's also very fast working in single-layer. It was also among the fastest units for rewritable. Only its reading performance was disappointing.

On the other hand, if dual-layer leaves you cold, the Lite-On SOHW-1633S or the Samsung TS-H522B are excellent choices. They showed very consistent results for reading and for writing.

That leaves the problem of 16x-certified media, especially since even if they're available, certain ones aren't recognized as being 16x! That will straighten itself out in time, but it's still extremely annoying right now. Are burners going to follow the example of video games? "Get your unit out before the competition at any cost, even if you have to finish the product later with patches?" New firmware is coming out every month, which makes us wonder - is that really reasonable?

  • sasquatch451
    Please report noise levels in optical drive reviews. This is a big factor in which drive to buy for some people. My current DVD burner sounds like a jet engine for 5 minutes after putting a disc in.
  • Ubrales
    Very informative article. Now I have a better understanding of Dual Layer DVDs